A few days off here, a little less sleep, and one piece of chocolate every day that mysteriously turns into 2 or 3, or maybe 5: Weight gain isn’t always as obvious as you may expect.
For me it’s usually the small behaviors over time that causes my creep. They are often not as obvious as the large holiday dinners, date nights with my husband, or a travel week for work. We tend to beat ourselves up when we “let go” for a special event, but overlook the small, extra bites everyday, over time. The reality is, it’s a small, single choice, but if it’s repeated frequently enough, it can cause a big impact on your waistline.
Here are 5 ways to combat the creep:
Avoid the Weekend Warrior Mentality
Do you give it your all in your diet and in the gym during the week, and then go bananas on the weekend? If you think about it, the weekend is 2 of 7 days, or close to 30 percent of your week. Doing things right 70 percent of the time gets you an average score. If you are striving for an A, you may want to rethink your weekend choices.
Stop Snacking on Your Kid’s leftovers
We’ve all done it! You start with one bite of your kid’s leftover cold pizza, not because you were hungry, but simply because it was there, staring you in the face. Oh yeah, and it’s never just one bite either, is it? In order to change this behavior you need to change the routine. Clear their plates as soon as they have finished, decide their snacks will not become yours., and ensure you are balancing out your own meals throughout the day so you don’t crave theirs.
Keep Blood Sugar Stabilized
Eating well balanced meals with protein, healthy fats, and fiber will keep your cravings at bay. Starting the day with a carb heavy meal tends to spike insulin levels, later causing you to crash and crave things that can pack on the pounds. Starting your morning off with a veggie omelette and avocado toast, or a quick protein shake with some added peanut butter and flax seeds will ensure you’re not crashing my 10:00 am, or diving for the lunch room cookies.
Track Your Portion Sizes
If you notice the pounds are starting to creep it’s a good idea to get back to the basics. Often we tend to over-estimate portion sizes, telling ourselves it’s only 1 tbsp of peanut butter, when it’s really 2. That one over-estimation can add an extra 100 calories in one go. Add that up over time, and it’s easy for the weight to creep up on you.
There have been a number of studies done on the association between sleep restriction and negative changes in weight. Sleep quantity and quality have been shown to play a role in regulating the hormone ghrelin, known as the hunger hormone that controls appetite. When this hormone is not functioning properly you’ll feel hungrier more often, making it more likely you’ll eat when you’re not really hungry.
Remember not to panic if you start seeing the pounds add up. Our weight can fluctuate often throughout the week due to stress, lack of sleep or even a hard workout. If you do realize it’s becoming a problem, take a breath, refocus and follow these simple steps. In no time you’ll be back to yourself again.
READY TO GET EVEN HEALTHIER!
Are you curious about how happy good health can make you feel? As a Health Coach I can help you make your own healthy changes. Let’s talk! Schedule an initial complimentary consultation with me today—or pass this offer on to someone you care about!